Day 41: Riding Winnipeg to Hadashville
I stayed up quite late on the previous tonight, so I ended up waking up and leaving Winnipeg a bit more slowly than expected. The ride itself was quite straight forward, there was hardly any elevation and the only noteworthy point along the way was the sign for the longitudinal centre of Canada. However I’ve heard that the sign is inaccurate, but I was too lazy to cross to the opposite side of the highway to investigate.
Hadashville itself is quite tiny, the roadside motel was the only thing I could find and there aren’t any convenient places to eat nearby. Fortunately the motel owners made some dumplings for me for dinner and they were pretty damn good. I just did the usual thing in motels, scan for interesting TV shows, check the weather forecast and chill out before bedtime.
Day 42: Riding Hadashville to Kenora
Today was an average day, but it was quite hot and humid, so I regretted not leaving earlier. I didn’t get a chance to buy milk for my cereal, so I stopped at the first petrol station for a pancake breakfast and some water (since the tap water in the area isn’t considered safe).
Once I reached the Ontario border, there were some noticeable differences such as hills, lots of pine trees and loads of lakes. I stopped at two points to buy some snacks and cool off with flavoured milk, juice and icy poles. The road shoulder did get narrower, but I was lucky to be travelling on a Monday, where there weren’t flocks of weekenders on the road.
I was glad to get in touch with Gail, the only Couchsurfer host in town and she was kind enough to take me to a great local place for dinner, where they had all you can eat ribs on Mondays. The waitress said I was the only person to get more than double servings and I was more than happy to clear my plate each time. Gail also showed me some cool things like the painted paddles as part of the Canada Games and the local art around town. The interest in canoes, kayaks and anything water related makes sense because Kenora is part of the Lake of the Woods, a huge region covering over 14,000 islands, stretching across Manitoba, Ontario and part of the US too.
On the way home she caught up with a friend who picked wild blueberries and she bought a huge tub of berries from her and we had some for dessert with cream. I loved chatting with Gail, she’s such a generous person and has hosted over 100 travellers at her place. Reading through her guestbook, I noticed other cyclists from my previous locations and it was so neat to see how they all had different experiences and goals for their travel.
Day 43: Riding Kenora to Dryden
Today’s ride was my first full day of Ontario hills, they’re not very big but they come in sets of two or three and don’t really go anywhere. It was just up and down for a while and I enjoyed it for the first bit, although it got pretty tiring after the 100km mark.
The scenery was pleasant and there were lakes on both sides of the road for the whole day. Along with the cloud cover, it was much cooler than the previous day and after my lunch break at a nice bakery, some tailwind helped me out too.
I stayed at a Couchsurfer place and just spent the night chatting with them and chilling out with some of their friends too. They had a wedding coming up on the weekend, so they were planning some cool stuff for that too. My legs were feeling pretty tired, but I was halfway to Thunder Bay, which was my next rest stop.